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Dose of Happy: Reality Check In The Spa

Last night, after my session, (which was a combination service and whipping session that, in itself made me feel better) I treated myself to a cleansing evening at the local Spa.  I sat in the heat and watched the parade of local naked girlies walk by and I realized something:

We women come in a LOT of shapes and sizes. Very few of them Playboy-ready.

  • The adorable curvy girls who mentioned being from the Pacific Northwest and sported HUGE dark bushes to prove it.
  • The skinny ass lil tattooed and shaved (yes, down there. No landing strip, no nothing) Emo Girl types.
  • The HUGE chicks. Both tall and… well. Just big. Two of them. Gorgeous and loud.
  • The tiny little Asian girls who sat in the water with their towel wrapped around them. Can’t tell you much of what was under there. It was tiny, and I’m thinking pretty firm.
  • The freaking adorable young blond with the tight ass, the tiny waist and the perfect perky boobies (not to mention the HUGE ovarian reserves) who probably hated her body as much as the rest of us do because she doesn’t like… well…. I’m not sure what there was to not like, but I know she was of the age where she doesn’t feel she measures up to what she, in her mind, should.
  • The other mommies with our soft bodies and stretch marks.
  • And, as in any Korean Spa, the obligatory 60+-year-old women who used the sitting shower the entire hour I was there. And yes, graphically scrubbed both the front AND the back door. Oh, my eyes!

So yes, I may not like my mommy belly, my sloppy boobies, or my extra IVF pounds. I may someday get a Mommy Makeover, but I’m about in the middle. Not so bad for being 41 with four kids.

And never ever working out. Ever. Even my Wii fit has given up on me. She just looks at me and says.. oh, YOU again…

I think we should all get to spend a couple of hours sitting in the hot steam of a Spa and realize: we all have our curves and our cellulite and our war wounds, but we are all pretty awesome when we are naked. It all adds up to make us what we are; who we’ve become.

So once my number was finally called and I was taken to the massage room – and not the private, darkened, quiet massage room where they step out for a minute so that you can position yourself on a pre-warmed massage table under neither a protective layer of sheets – but a large room, lit with fluorescent lighting and filled with massage tables, where a smiling lady women strips you of your towel and positions you by force, naked on a wet plastic massage table, and starts tossing hot buckets of water on you.

Thankfully she will toss a towel over your face to prevent you from opening your eyes and accidentally seeing the women on the next massage table over treated much like your dog at the groomer.

Just like you are about to be.

Sounds humiliating, but they get in and exfoliate and massage EVERYTHING. They get on top of you and dig their knees into your butt so they can get a better grip on your shoulders. They spread your legs so they can make sure those inner thighs are smooth as silk. They flip you, turn you twist you and stretch you until they knock the cry-baby right out.

Then they toss a couple more buckets of hot water on you and start again.

You leave feeling like a new person.

Dose of Happy: Fun Bargains

There’s little I enjoy more than a good bargain. Partially because I’m broke, but also because I love a good treasure hunt.

Yesterday, my boyfriend took me hunting at a few of our local Goodwill shops. Not most people’s idea of a date, maybe, but I was thrilled.

I walked slowly up and down each aisle, picking things up, putting them back down, turning them every which way.

I ended up coming away with three miniature ramekins, a few craft supplies, and a small wooden box with a clasping lid.

I’m as happy as a pirate with her booty and treasure chest. 🙂
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What’s your Happy?

Don’t think you have one? Look harder. Something will make you smile today.

We want to know!

Share your bit of happy with us at Band Back Together!

Dose of Happy: Our Aunt Becky

Happy Birthday, dear Aunt Becky!

You are our Dose of Happy this Monday!

I sometimes wonder if you know how much we love being a part of this fabulous Band you’ve created, and how much of that love is rooted in our love for you. You have a way of letting those around you know that you truly care, and in this often too cold and callous world, that can mean everything.

Those of us who work with you on the Band Back Together Project are reminded daily of your dedication to the happiness and well being of those around you.

Those of us who have followed you for years, through Mommy Wants Vodka and the formation and falter and rebirth of Band Back Together, until today, understand that living our best lives takes a lot of work, a heavy hit of faith in ourselves and an ever-ready sense of humor, but we can get there.

Those of us in The Band, Band Mates in every sense, feel the warmth and love of this safe and gentle place you’ve created for us. We value the kindness and empathy we find here, and we envelope ourselves in it.

And those of us who are lucky enough to count you as a friend are amazed that such a kind, smart, sensitive and connected woman doesn’t see how much of an impact she has made on the world around her. And those friends want, this friend wants, nothing more than to see the flicker in your eye the moment you realize how dear, how valuable, and how loved you are.

So, our Aunt Becky, Happy Aunt Becky Day! We love you to the moon and back. You are our Dose of Happy.

Dose of Happy: Student Identification

This week I notice my son had something I’d never seen before – a high school student identification card.

When you have a child who has had a non-traditional school experience (his first 1-½ years of high school at a therapeutic day school), suddenly the “normal” becomes cause for celebration.

It’s such a simple thing really – a photo on a piece of plastic – but it means so much more.

It means my son is just as important as every one of his peers.

It means that my son belongs.

It means that making a difficult choice regarding school placement when my son entered high school has paid off.

And that makes me happy!
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What’s your Happy?

Don’t think you have one? Look harder. Something will make you smile today.

We want to know!

Share it with the world on The Band Back Together blog or share it on Facebook. Whatever you want to do, do it. Just find a bit of happy in this Monday!

Dose of Happy: I Will Dance

I wrote a lot on this site about the drama I have in my life, but this time I wanted to write and share something that is made of pure glitter for me: dance.

I started dancing when I was really young, but it wasn’t until I was eleven that I found Irish Dance. I was obsessed with Riverdance growing up, and Mama found a school that just started up in my hometown, so I tried a class. I was instantly hooked. I have done so many other types of dance in my life (ballet, modern, jazz, ballroom/Latin/swing, etc.), but Irish always held a special place in my heart. I loved going and competing in competitions all over the nation and Ireland. I was addicted to the thrill of the performances we would do all over the state, and I never thought I would stop. Fate had other ideas.

When my knee blew out, I thought that I needed to leave all dance behind to be able to put that part of my life away and start a new one as a photographer. I tried to leave it, joking that “dance was my passion, but photography was my love. You never marry your passion, you marry your love,” but soon I found my life missing a huge piece of something. I never could figure out what was missing, but I kept moving forward.

In my classes, I would always practice old steps I choreographed or competed in my head while I worked on other things, and I would always end up choreographing new dance numbers to random songs in my head. But it wasn’t until after my Mama died I finally figured it out.

I was living at my best friend’s house when a fire caused my town to evacuate during the summer, and I went to dance, the same dance class I use to live at, with her little sister. I thought “Well, I’m here, I might as well dance,” and I found myself hooked again. It was coming home after a long time away. Now, I know where I belong and what I am: I am a dancer who is studying photography.

Dance is either magic or pure glitter, depending on what you want to call it. It makes all the world quiet, all the problems just vanish for a few hours, and nothing matters but your body and the music. I love being able to lose myself completely in the movements, the music, and the small, little movements that others find boring. I spend hours remembering how to move my body, how to turn out, how to balance, and how to jump again. It sounds easy, but being able to take my time and just fix my old problems is amazing.

Dance is something I can and know how to fix. This is a place where I am safe. Dance doesn’t lie, it is the truest way to see someone’s soul. It is an essence of the person him or herself. I don’t even know if this makes sense, but when your world starts to spin out of control, the best thing I think you can do is dance. It helps you… feel. You don’t have to wear a mask or hide, you are truly free.

It is pure glitter to me, and my resolution is that I will dance! I will remember the simple joy of moving, of perfecting each step, and being in the moment completely. I hope some of you will join me: dance is not just a studio and lesson, it’s all around us. Just turn on music or listen to the wind outside and dance! I promise, you will feel better and most likely will be smiling and laughing, even if it’s just a moment, and you’ll feel better.

I am a dancer, and I will always dance!

Dose of Happy: Puppy Love

I love my dogs. It’s not unusual, nor is it something not to be proud of.

I’m unable to have children, but dammit, I’m one hell of a doggie mom. I’m not all weird about it or anything – I don’t have little puppy clothing or diamond collars. I don’t buy my dogs exotic food more expensive than my own.

I do let the little dog, Bettie, sleep on the bed with me, and I totally use a weird voice when talking to her. I even call her “Pretty Girl.”

Ugh. I’m sickening.

I let the big dog, Fritz, sleep on the bed when the husband isn’t in it. He’s too large to sleep on the bed if that pesky man is there, otherwise you bet your sweet ass he’d be cuddled up next to me and Bettie.

I play fetch with Fritz – who also goes by “Mr. Foo” and “Handsome Puppy Face” – with his squeaky hedgehog toy. He’s nine and has arthritis in his hip, but he’ll run around like a puppy when you throw something for him to fetch. I swear he thinks he’s a year-old pup.

He can “sing” on command, and I’ve learned recently that he digs Motown and ’80’s music. He sits, shakes, and stands up either by hand signal or vocal commands. He even smiles! I promise. I have pictures to prove it! He’s the sweetest boy you’ll ever meet.

Bettie isn’t quite as talented in the ol’ trick department, but she makes up for it in cuteness. She’s small and shaggy and sweet. She follows me around the house wherever I go – like we’re on some sort of adventure when I’m walking to the refrigerator to grab a soda. She has some bizarre quirks like growling when a cell phone, soda can, or the like come near her tiny, little face. We’re teaching her to do some of the tricks that her “brother” does, but so far all she’s learned is how to sit and sing… sort of. Nothing cracks me up more than her high pitched squeal that is indescribable and oh-so endearing.

She’s a Mama’s Girl, even if the husband does call her “Daddy’s Little Princess” when no one is around.

For my Dose of Happy, I thought about writing about the husband (I still may), but I decided that people like me, who are/were unable to have any children, would appreciate a little levity about being a pet parent.

I love my dogs, and even though I was not able to conceive, I still have my sense of humor. I also have two furry creatures who need me.

They’ve been there with their unconditional love every time I’ve needed it. They’ve helped me when I was so sad I couldn’t breathe. They’ve listened to me sobbing and screaming. The only thing they have ever needed in return was my love. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Do you?